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Letter to The Honorable Ray LaHood Secretary of Transportation

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

Connecticut Delegation Requests Additional Federal Funds to Expand High-Speed Rail

Today, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and the entire Connecticut Congressional delegation wrote to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood requesting additional funding to expand high-speed rail service between New Haven and Springfield, MA. Recent media reports indicate that the Governors-elect in some states may decline the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail funding they received. The delegation is requesting that the Department of Transportation reapportion funds declined by other states, and direct $100 million to Connecticut to expand the rail line.

In their letter, the delegation wrote that this funding would "be a significant boost to the State which, despite a significant budget deficit, remains committed to seeing this project through to completion. That is because investing in 21st century infrastructure is an investment strategy that will pay economic dividends for years to come. It will help enhance our regional competitiveness, attract dynamic new industries, and serve as the backbone for transit-oriented development throughout the region."

The full text of the letter is below:

November 22, 2010

The Honorable Ray LaHood
Secretary
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20590

Dear Secretary LaHood:

We write today to thank you for your support for Connecticut's vision for high speed rail, and to commend your advocacy for 21st century transportation systems across the U.S.

As you know, recent media reports suggest that the Governors-elect in some states that received High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) funding are now considering whether to decline accepting these awards. We respectfully request that as you determine how to reapportion HSIPR funds declined by other states, you consider directing an additional $100 million of those funds for the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line.

The State of Connecticut has been working closely with the states of Massachusetts and Vermont and Amtrak to better link the region's cities and towns with New York City, Boston, and Montreal. Renovating and upgrading New Haven-Hartford-Springfield line for high-speed service is an essential component of the region's intercity rail vision.

This additional funding would put the total federal commitment at approximately $260 million. This would equal the $260 million in bond funding that the State has authorized for the project, and will allow Connecticut to complete Phase I of the project.

It would also be a significant boost to the State which, despite a significant budget deficit, remains committed to seeing this project through to completion. That is because investing in 21st century infrastructure is an investment strategy that will pay economic dividends for years to come. It will help enhance our regional competitiveness, attract dynamic new industries, and serve as the backbone for transit-oriented development throughout the region.

We are grateful for the support which you have provided for the State of Connecticut to date, and appreciate your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Dodd
Joseph I. Lieberman
Rosa L. DeLauro
John B. Larson
Christopher S. Murphy
Joe Courtney
Jim Himes


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